What is lead?
The element lead is a dense metal that can be easily shaped or molded. Its abbreviation Pb comes from the Latin word plumbum, which means soft metal. Lead has been used for over 5,000 years.
Uses for lead
In the U.S. from the1800's to 1900's lead was used in ammunition, ceramic glazes, pipelines, paint, car batteries, and gasoline. Today it is used for ceramics, casting metal, sheet lead, and ammunition. Ancient egyptians even used it to darken their eyes as eyeshadow.
Interesting Facts About Lead
- It is a soft, heavy, toxic and malleable metal
- It is blue-white before exposed to air
- It does not occur in nature in large quantities
- We use lead the most today for car batteries
- Lead has the highest atomic number of all the stable atoms
- It is not a good conductor of electricity
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